Crashes and spinouts reported as snow slows down commuters

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Snow is falling across the metro area and parts of southeast Minnesota and is causing problems on the roads.

The area south of the metro is bearing the brunt of the burst of snow, with 5.5 inches already reported in Owatonna since it started falling around noon, according to FOX 9.

The Twin Cities is expected to get between 1 and 3 inches of snow this afternoon and evening, and commuters have been warned to expect a longer journey home.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation says spinouts and crashes are common, with roads between the south metro and Mankato said to be completely covered in snow.

All major roads in the Twin Cities are now considered "partially covered," and there are several reports of crashes, including three on Interstate 94 between downtown Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center.

A few inches of snow is expected in the southern Twin Cities metro, east to Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and south to Owatonna and Albert Lea, the National Weather Service says.

The DOT meanwhile is reporting poor visibility in areas of the southeast. A winter weather advisory is in effect until 7 p.m. Tuesday for much of southeastern Minnesota.

What about the cold?

While the southern third of the state is dealing with some snow, west central and northwest Minnesota will be dealing with bitter-cold wind chills ranging from minus 25 to minus 30 degrees, the National Weather Service says.

The cold temperatures are sticking around the Twin Cities as well, but then it's expected to warm up in time for the weekend.

Meteorologist Paul Huttner wrote on MPR News' Updraft blog he thinks "the coldest days of winter are probably behind us. Minnesota is getting off easy compared to last winter."

Other regions in worse shape

Boston was hammered with snow in the past week – in just seven days (and with just two snowstorms) the area has gotten over 40 inches of snow. making it the snowiest week there since modern weather records began in 1891, the Weather Channel tweeted.

And Chicago got walloped with its fifth-biggest blizzard in history this week, the Chicago Tribune reports.

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